Hebrew Voices #120 – Hebrew Matthew Q&A

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Hebrew Matthew Q&A, Bible Scholar Nehemia Gordon sits down with Keith Johnson to answer some of your questions on Hebrew Matthew. Barry wrote: “Excited to hear the answers to the questions Nehemia. Thank you for agreeing to do this.”

I look forward to reading your comments!


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Hebrew Voices #120 - Hebrew Matthew Q&A

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Keith: Nehemia, this is from our friend, Rich, he says, “Is there anything that Yeshua taught or did that is inconsistent with the Tanakh, the big book, as it pertains to the Hebrew gospel of Matthew? If so, what?”

Nehemia: Shalom everybody! Welcome to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon, and my special guest, Keith Johnson.

Keith: Yeah, here we go. Before we get started, let’s say a prayer, each of us, and I know for myself I need a little peace. There’s so much that’s been going on today, it’s just absolutely crazy, so I’d like to pray for a little peace. Can I do that?

Nehemia: Bevakasha.

Keith: Ok. Father, thank you for technology, the challenges of it and the blessings of it. Thank you for the people that are tuning in right now, and those that will tune in in the future. Thank you for the journey that Nehemia and I have been on, and that we’ve found common ground in the Word of God, and we pray that as a result of that, someone would be blessed by this process, someone would be touched, someone would be inspired. Thank you for all that we’ve done so far and the many people that are encouraged. We pray that You’ll continue to lead us and guide us in Your grace and thank you in advance in Your name. Amen.

Nehemia: Amen. Yehovah, avinu shebashamayim, Yehovah, our father in heaven. Thank you for a wonderful chag hamatzot, a wonderful Feast of Passover, even though we couldn’t be with loved ones, our family as we have in the past, and many people were alone. Yehovah, thank you for us getting through this. Through technology we’re able to connect with people. Yehovah, as we are counting the Omer, be with us through these 50 days. Let this be a 50-day period where things go back to some degree of normalcy and this disease passes from the world. Yehovah, You are the healer, You can do this, You can heal. Amen.

Keith: Yes, amen, Nehemia. So, last time that we talked, we discussed the idea of some people asking some questions, and I have to tell you - I am really a little overwhelmed at how many people had questions regarding Hebrew gospel of Matthew, but before we get to the questions, can I just set a little context? What you always do in Hebrew Voices, you always set the context. And now, you know this is shifting today, right? I get to ask you questions and…

Nehemia: Are you turning the tables on me?

Keith: I’m turning the tables on you, but before I do that, I want to tell people a very quick little story that changed my life, and it has to do with you and I walking in the Old City of Jerusalem. We were walking and talking about the Bible, you may remember it.

Nehemia: I do.

Keith: And as we were walking and talking about the Bible, I bring something up and… I mean, we must have spent all day doing this. And we’d sit down, and you’d open up a Bible that looked just like my Bible on the outside. The outside of the Bible looked just like my Bible, so we’d sit down and we’d open the Bible and then you would speak what you read in your Bible and you’d say it in English, so I just assumed - say “assumed”.

Nehemia: Assumed.

Keith: That there was maybe just a little bit of a different translation, but basically the same Bible. And after about five or six questions, after two or three hours walking up hills, walking down, I went and peaked over your shoulder and I saw something that really - let me just say it this way - frustrated me. Over your shoulder you were reading from the Hebrew Bible and translating in English, and I had no idea that you were doing that. And when I looked at the Hebrew, I thought, “Well, that’s the Hebrew for scholars, what is he doing…?” And it changed my life. And do you remember what I said to you then, Nehemia, when I saw you doing that?

Nehemia: Remind me what you said.

Keith: I said to you, “How can you do that?” Come on, come back to those days, it really changed my life that you were translating in English from Hebrew. Why was that something that was so natural for you?

Nehemia: I mean, look, I was talking with somebody yesterday and teaching this person the Hebrew alphabet, the Alef-Bet, but I was asked the question, “When did you learn the Alef-Bet?” And I said, “Well, I learned it in kindergarten, the same time I learned the English alphabet.” You know, in kindergarten, in my upbringing, we had this table, and the table would have, let’s say it was a Gimel, a really easy one. And so it was Gimel. Gimel with a patakh, and a Gimel with a khirik and Gimel with a tzereh, so it was ga-ghi-ghe-gu, right?

That’s how you learn, that’s how you learn the language. You see each letter combined with each one of the vowels. There are 22, really you could say there are 23 letters, because of Shin and Sin, and then you combine it with each one of the 8 or so vowels, depending how you count them, if you include the khataf so there are 11. So you’ve got 11 vowels times 23 consonants, I’m plugging it in my computer here - that means you have 253 letter-vowel combinations that you have to learn. That doesn’t even include the dagesh, which adds a certain number more, as well. Let’s say that adds another 33 - 286 combinations, and you just go through that, over and over and over in kindergarten.

And then you get to first and second grade, and then you start reading the Torah. Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz, veha’aretz hayta tohu vavohu vekhoshekh al peney tehom, veruakh Elohim merakhefet al peney hamayim. And the way we learned it - I was in the US growing up - the rabbi would recite, “Bereshis bara Elohim es hashamayim ve’es ha’aretz…” And we would repeat, and then he would say the translation and we would repeat the translation, and verse-by-verse that’s how you would learn it.

And then at some point, once you have a big enough vocabulary, they introduce grammar. You see, in universities they want to do it backwards - they want to start with the grammar. And there’s something to be said for that method, but I don’t know. That’s not how children learn - they learn through immersion. By just translating over and over and over, then eventually it’s in your soul, it’s in your bones.

Keith: Ok, so Nehemia, I want you to stick your chest out a little bit. I know you don’t like doing this, but I used to always make fun because I used to love it when I first met you. They said to me, “We’re going to go and meet this guy, his name is Nehemia Gordon from the Hebrew University.” “Why do I want to meet him? I don’t know who this guy is.” And it absolutely changed my life.

Tell us just a little bit before we get into this. Your journey from the United States to Hebrew, and at Hebrew University.

Nehemia: So, one of the things I was told is, “How dare you question these rabbis and generations of rabbis who wrote all these books and they’re so knowledgeable? They say that this is what the Bible means, how do you think you know any better?” And so one of my objectives was that I would know Hebrew better than these rabbis, or at least as well as these rabbis, and part of that required me moving to Israel.

So I moved to Israel, actually initially, when I was 17 years old, just out of high school, and I worked at a kibbutz for a year. And I remember, I was out there in the fields, and I could read Hebrew - I could read biblical Hebrew in particular - I was out there working as a field worker, and my boss would start yelling at me in Hebrew, “Take those pipes and move them over there!” or, “Hook up that pipe and disconnect the other pipe!” And I had no idea what he was saying… [inaudible] But he’s pointing, so I’m like, “Oh, okay. well that must be the word for pipe, that’s the word in Samuel that I remember David said whoever gets into the city of Jerusalem first he will reward him. And then it says, “And Joab touched the pipe,” the tzinor, right? And even unclear what that Hebrew word means, but clearly in modern Hebrew it meant any kind of pipe, an irrigation pipe. A water channel. At one time they understood it was referring to Warren’s Shaft, now it’s kind of disputed, but it’s in the translations based on that understanding.

So this is how I came to speak modern Hebrew, and it did help me with understanding the Tanakh. In some ways it helped, and in some ways you could even say it hindered, because I would read a word and say, “Oh, wait, I know what this means,” and then you’re like, “Oh, that’s not what it means in biblical Hebrew.”

Keith: Now, here’s something really interesting - and listen, you still didn’t stick your chest out, so I’m going to stick it out for you. You went to the Hebrew University, you got your undergraduate, I think it was in Biblical Studies and Archaeology.

Nehemia: It was a double major, that’s correct.

Keith: And then you went and got your master’s degree, and you also got that in Biblical Studies, if I’m correct.

Nehemia: My master’s in Biblical Studies, yeah.

Keith: Master’s in Biblical Studies. So I’m sitting here with you in the Old City of Jerusalem, I’m looking over your shoulder and I’m looking at my study Hebrew Bible. That’s a Bible you just put in the libraries and you go and find little words to impress people, it’s not something that you actually read. And so you’re reading it, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, where are his references, and how is he checking…?” And it really, really, really shook me. It changed my life, and after that I asked you a question, do you remember what I asked you? No, you don’t. I said, “Nehemia, would you be willing to help me learn to do that? Would you be willing to help me...?” Tell the people what you said.

Nehemia: I said, “No, I don’t want to.” [laughing] That’s what the inner voice said, anyway.

Keith: [laughing] You said, “No.” And I want you to be honest. Part of the reason that you said no was, why? I mean, let’s just be honest.

Nehemia: You’re a Christian, you don’t really want to learn Hebrew, this is some agenda to try to get into my good graces so that you can eventually spring the Jesus trap on me, and I don’t even want to start with that.

Look, this doesn’t come from nowhere. I remember us sitting around with a bunch of folks in Jerusalem, and one of them had told us about how he got a job working at this yeshiva, and the first question they asked him is, “Do you believe in Jesus?” And he said no. And he’s talking to the people. He realized who I was, but, you know, but then he figures, “Okay, I can talk openly,” and he says, “I don’t use that name, I call him Yeshua.”

And so in his mind it was okay to lie to the people because he understood what they’re really asking is, “Are you here to try to convert the students?” And 100% he told us that was his objective. He was working as a volunteer janitor at this yeshiva so he could befriend the students, so he could spring Yeshua on them in some kind of friendly conversation. And I’ve heard these stories my whole life, that this is what Christians sometimes do. Not all Christians, obviously, but this is all I knew, right?

There is a story of a woman, she goes knocking on the door of this family in the middle of nowhere in Israel, this small little village, this moshav or yishuv, and she says, “It’s 15 minutes before Shabbat and I have nowhere to stay with my family,” and they bring them in and then they’re doing the Kiddush and everything, and having the family Friday night meal, and this is a way of befriending them so they could share Yeshua. And so, I thought, surely this is some trap where he wants to spring the Jesus trap on me… He’s a Methodist, that’s what they do.

Keith: Okay, so is it fair to say, Nehemia, that it took a long time for you to convince…

Nehemia: And let me just say, this is how Jews perceive Christians, for better or for worse. You know the story of the… and I’ve learned now, over the years, that that’s not all Christians, but a lot of Jews, this is how they perceive Christians, and sometimes it’s an earned perception. Like, again with these examples, you know, and it’s kind of the story of the scorpion, you know, the story of the scorpion and the frog. Or some people have a turtle. So the scorpion says to the frog, “I will need to get across the water, would you let me go on your back?” And the frog says, “Well, no, you’ll sting me.” He says, “If I sting you, I’ll drown.” And the frog thinks about it and he’s like, “Oh, yeah, you’re right.” So he takes him across on his back, and halfway through the scorpion stings the turtle, or the frog, and as he’s drowning he says, “Why did you do that?” He says, “I’m a scorpion.”

Keith: “That’s what I do.”

Nehemia: “That’s what I do.” And this is how Jews, at least, perceive Christians, for better or for worse, and one of the things you did that I really appreciate, it’s been 17 or 18 years now and you still haven’t…

Keith: Are you kidding, we’ve been… How long have we been together now?

Nehemia: [laughing] 18 years. If I’m not mistaken, maybe even 19. You still haven’t sprung the Jesus trap on me, at least a conversion trap. And here it is.

Keith: And now here we are…[laughing]

Nehemia: The moment he’s been building up for, for 18 years! The moment he’s been waiting for! [laughing]

Keith: I’ve got all my friends…

Nehemia: Now he’s got Nehemia to trust him.

Keith: And Nehemia, let me just say something. It took you a long time to agree to actually do what I was asking you to do. It took some months, and then you called me back. Those days…

Nehemia: It was a lot more than months. And a lot of it had to do with that there is this perception, this maybe even generational experience that Jews have of dealing with Christians. Whenever we talk about Jesus it ends up badly. And there is something to be said for this. I’ve had conversations with people, early on in my experience, where people would say, “Nehemia, why is it that you don’t believe in XYZ?” Or, “Why do you believe XYZ?” And when I told those people, they got very upset.

Keith: Yeah.

Nehemia: Because they assumed, “Well, he doesn’t have an answer. Let’s challenge him and he’ll see he doesn’t have an answer.” And when they see I do have an answer, they get upset. “Wait a minute, this isn’t what we believe. How dare you… this is blasphemy you’ve spoken.”

Keith: You and I have been in this process, and you created what I would call a very intense study process.

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: Really intense. And we went through that process together, of learning lots and lots of things. I cannot tell you how much I’ve appreciated what you did over the years. And then you came to me after we had gone through this entire study process. I remember two, three years, maybe longer. Then you came and you said, “Hey, Keith, listen, everyone heard about the two rules.” You said, “I’d like to study with you the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew,” and I got very excited, and you sent me what was called a primitive text of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.

Nehemia: The Gospel of Matthew According to a Primitive Hebrew Text, by George Howard.

Keith: By George Howard. And so George Howard had created this... and it wasn’t even in book form. It was like in a...

Nehemia: What I had done is I went to the library at Mount Scopus, and... because you can’t buy this book.

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: It was printed in 1987.

Keith: Yeah.

Nehemia: And then the second edition in 1995 was completely different from the first edition, at least as pertains to the introduction and the conclusions. He didn’t change his introduction or conclusion, he just said, “Okay, I have this other information I would share.” I don’t know why he did that. I guess it was more politically correct, if we’re really honest.

So I went to the library at Mount Scopus, where I was studying my master’s degree, and I photocopied the book. I was going to say I scanned it, but they didn’t have scanners, at least not at the library back then. I went there and I photocopied the book and I had it bound with this plastic ring binding.

Keith: I still have it upstairs.

Nehemia: You still have it?

Keith: This is what I want to tell people. I want to tell people something, because there’s an agenda that I have in why I’m having you go through this. There were no shortcuts with you regarding what it was that I was asking that I wanted to learn. You didn’t offer any shortcuts. I would say in those days, we had to wait for things, everything was through snail mail - you’d send me something snail mail from Israel, I’d send you something. This was in the days where it wasn’t just a quick push of a button.

But what was beautiful about it, Nehemia, is that you put in place a system, if I can say, a template, for what it was we were learning. Four things - the consonants, the vowels, the accents and the Masoretic notes. We went through that... I’m not saying that at the end, “I’m Keith Johnson from Hebrew University”, but what I realized was, I was given a gift. And that gift was ultimately with a purpose. I want to tell you what the agenda was. Can I now publicly tell...

Nehemia: Wait, so there was an agenda, I knew it!

Keith: There was an agenda. And the agenda was that I felt, when I was watching you read the Hebrew Scriptures, and our relationship that we had over years, is that I really started feeling really, really convicted about the people who think they know the Bible, but they don’t have access to the language, history and the context. And I thought to myself, “What if there was a way that I could help people in the same way, as a student, you helped me?”

And so that’s really, for those that don’t know, what the agenda was. Now, in the meantime, we built a great relationship. We’ve been around the world together. And as a result of you saying, “Let’s study the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew together,” we did something - quick commercial for those that don’t know - we wrote this book, A Prayer to Our Father: Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer. I’m at the table where we spent hours, hours...

Nehemia: You’re at the famous table!

Keith: I’m at the famous table. We had four computers. We had German, Greek, Hebrew, how many different languages we were dealing with. And what we decided was we wanted to focus on one part of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. Now, you do a great job explaining that. Would you please tell people what it was that we were trying to do? And we did not set out to write a book. Tell them what it was that we decided to do.

Nehemia: Yes. So we sat, I said, “Let’s study this book together, I want to get your feedback...” Look, I approached the book as an expert in Hebrew, but I thought it’s really important to get the perspective of somebody who doesn’t just look at this as an ancient important book, but looks at it as a scriptural text. It’s the teachings of Yeshua of Nazareth, who looks to Yeshua as you now term him, as your rebbi. And I don’t know if everybody understands that reference, but it’s okay, we talked about that in the past.

So I thought that was important for me to get that perspective, because I would read something that’s like, “Well, that’s interesting.” And the things that might interest me might not be interesting to the average person, whereas certain questions that are like burning questions for people who believe in this book would be things that I wouldn’t even be concerned with or even... it wouldn’t register for me in a way, if that makes any sense.

So I said, let’s sit down and read a defined section. I want us to know every single word and form and syntax and everything, in the Greek and in the Hebrew and in the Aramaic - I mean the Aramaic stuff - and every possible form of that. And so we looked at what’s known in the Christian world - actually, in the English speaking Christian world it’s called the Lord’s Prayer, and in almost every language in the world besides that, it’s called the Our Father prayer. Like in Latin, it’s called Pater Noster, which means “Our Father”, and it’s the prayer that Yeshua taught the Jewish multitudes.

You know, if Yeshua had stood before the Jewish multitudes in the Galilee and said, “Here’s how you shall pray. First you address the first person of the Trinity, and then you address the second person of the Trinity, and then you address the third person,” I think they would have stoned him right there on the spot. Instead, he taught them… and he could have just taught that, right? That could have been how he died, it could have been, right? Instead, he taught them to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come,” in the English, in the Hebrew, “Avinu shebashamayim yitkadesh shimkha, yitbarekh malkhutkha,” etc. And so we sat down and we studied this, and at the end we decided we have got to share this with people.

Keith: Here’s what you did that was so cool. So after we’re studying - again, we’re not trying to write a book. We’re studying this prayer, one section from the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. This is Howard’s book since I don’t know what year this is.

Nehemia: That’s 1995, people can get that at nehemiaswall.com now.

Keith: Oh, awesome. Is this available?

Nehemia: It’s available now at nehemiaswall.com. It’s not published by us, it’s published by Mercer University, or something like that.

Keith: Nehemia, so then we find this prayer, we start studying it. We’re not thinking about a book again. But the thing that happened that was so cool is that we said, “We’ve got to go to step two.” Now, step two, I’m bringing you guys into the process, because we used to go to a workout place and get in the whirlpool, and we’d sit in the whirlpool and always get these revelations. So in the whirlpool Nehemia says, “You know what would be something?” And he’s wiping his brow, “What if we took the study to the next level? You come to Israel, and we go to the places where...” Do you remember that?

Nehemia: I do remember that, yeah.

Keith: So that was way back in 2007. So we go to Israel, and again, the level of... if I can say, information, inspiration, revelation that came was phenomenal. Then we knew we had to write the book. And since writing this book, how many printings do we have here, Nehemia?

Nehemia: I don’t even know anymore.

Keith: Five, six, seven…?

Nehemia: Yeah, a bunch of printings. I don’t keep track of that anymore.

Keith: This is not a commercial for you to get the book, but you can get it at nehemiaswall.com or BFAinternational.com. Okay, so we do this. Now, here’s what happens to me. After this whole process, I’m watching all the people that have been touched by just the prayer. The prayer is… if you just focused on the prayer, you could get plenty of revelation from that.

But I’m saying to myself, “What would it mean for us to go further?” Now, here’s the disadvantage that I have. The disadvantage that I have is that I didn’t grow up in a situation where I’m reading Hebrew all the time and learning Hebrew all the time. In fact, I finally got to the place where I started wanting to speak a little Hebrew and realized - and you told me this, “Keith, well, there’s a difference between modern Hebrew and biblical Hebrew.” And I said, “Well, I want to focus on biblical Hebrew.” So we focus on biblical Hebrew, and then after some years, I say, “Okay, now, I’d like to know a little modern Hebrew.” And I said, “Now will you teach me?” And you said, “I don’t want to.” [laughing]

Nehemia: I don’t want.

Keith: I don’t want. Because ein lekha savlanut, you’d say to me...

Nehemia: Yesh li savlanut ledvarim mesuyamim, lo lelamed Ivrit modernit.

Keith: No patience. So finally, I want to just get to the point, because finally I say...

Nehemia: Yesh li savlanut lebo’o shel haMashiakh.

Keith: So if I want to go further, I’m going to have to go just a little bit further, and I don’t want to bother Nehemia with it. So I ended up eventually going to an ulpan at Hebrew University, just six weeks. It’s nothing like what Nehemia did, but the idea was to try to be able to get some more background, because ultimately what I wanted to do, Nehemia, is to give people a chance to interact with the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew in an authentic way.

Now the controversy before we get to the questions. Here’s the controversy. The controversy is that when I have people get the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, they read the English. And when they’re reading the English, they’re like, “I’m reading the actual words from the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.” And I’ve got to give the controversy. I came to a point of crisis. Over and over again I would see that Howard would translate what I’m looking at in Hebrew, and he translated in English, and they did not fit. And I would say to you, “Nehemia, why is Howard doing this?”

And we used to have conversations about… Sometimes as they’re looking over Howard’s shoulder, his colleagues and other people… This was a controversial book when he did it, very controversial. We can talk about that. There were sometimes where he kind of tipped his hand to some theological issues rather than translating directly from Hebrew. That caused me an angst in my gut that said, “How do we get what the Hebrew says into English?”

Nehemia: I don’t know that he tipped his hat to theological issues. I think it was more a matter of - he came with all these presuppositions and baggage about what it should say, and then when he read in Hebrew something different, he’s like, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense. I’m just going to translate what’s in Greek.” And so he puts, a lot of times, the English translations in parentheses, and nowhere in any of his writings does he explain what the parentheses indicate. And you only know what the parentheses mean if you read the Hebrew, and you realize, “Oh, he didn’t translate what’s in Hebrew, when he put it in parentheses he translated the Greek, not the Hebrew.”

Keith: Now, here’s where I’m going to get in trouble. So we’re going to get to your questions. People have asked some questions we’re going to ask you. Here’s where I might get in trouble. I started seeing people saying they were going to help us better understand the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, and they would simply use Howard’s translation. And I would say...

Nehemia: It’s a good start.

Keith: It’s a great start. It’s an unbelievable start, but I can tell you right now...

Nehemia: It’s like reading the King James Version, right? I mean, if you don’t have access to the original Hebrew…

Keith: I can tell you, without counting, there are many, many significant things that Howard did not translate directly from Hebrew, that many times match either with the Greek or with the presuppositions, as you say, that he came with, that some of them are very simple, in my opinion.

So what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be giving people a tool. Before we get to the tool, I want to get to some questions. Are you ready to answer some questions?

Nehemia: So look, there’s this new term I heard about a year ago, the term is TLDR. Do you know what that means? TLDR on the internet?

Keith: Tell me what it means.

Nehemia: “Too Long, Didn’t Read.” So it’s where you give... in Hebrew we say takhles. What’s the bottom line? If somebody stops 30 minutes into this, and they don’t get to hear all the questions, so Keith Johnson, people, he has put out something that I called the Hebrew Red-Letter Series. We’re in 27, or 17. How many weeks is it, Keith?

Keith: No, there were 18 episodes, now there’s going to be...

Nehemia: TLDR. Over 20 episodes, you can now listen, and you can learn the Hebrew. I’ve provided the Hebrew text along with a vocalization from an expert in Israel that I was able to get for us, Hebrew text that I brought based on the manuscript, put that together with the vocalization and you have... you created an interlinear, right?

Keith: Yes, there’s an interlinear…

Nehemia: I’m not responsible for the interlinear, I haven’t seen it.

Keith: No, not responsible for the interlinear.

Nehemia: Which means it might not always be right.

Keith: It very well may be right. [laughing]

Nehemia: It’s better than Howard.

Keith: If it’s not right, I blame my teacher. Okay, go ahead.

Nehemia: So the TLDR is they can go to BFAinternational.com starting on Sunday or Friday?

Keith: No, we changed everything. Everything changes! Because of your willingness to do this Q&A, about 30 minutes ago we actually uploaded it, right now as a sneak peek at BFAinternational.com. I’m going to put a link.

Nehemia: So TLDR is going to be at BFAinternational.com., and you can actually have access to this information, which is an interlinear of the Hebrew Matthew, and you can read it and say, “Hey, this isn’t the original Matthew, I’m going back to the Greek.” Fine, but at least you can see what the Hebrew has to say.

Keith: You can see what it is.

Nehemia: Or you might consider it also a valid witness to understand it from another perspective. And of course, also go to nehemiaswall.com and support what I’m doing.

Keith: Absolutely.

Nehemia: We’re putting out a lot of exciting teachings. We’re putting out as much as we can right now, we’ve put out so much that we have these live episodes that I also want to push out the Hebrew Voices to the podcast, and we’re a few weeks behind in doing that.

And now for your questions.

Keith: Now, here we go. So what we did was, last week - and I want to thank you for this, people are so excited that you were willing to answer some questions. So what we’re doing is that, as you mentioned, people are going to get a chance to focus in on the Red Letters, specifically the Red Letters, not all Hebrew Matthew, we’re focusing in right now on the Sermon on the Mount. And there were questions that people had for you. And obviously, you’re not in the study with us, you’ve already studied in depth. This is for those that are wanting not to take a shortcut. It’s going to be a 17-week study. Every week you have one lesson, and I will tell you, it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be... we’re going to move from milk to meat. So some people have some questions, Nehemia.

Nehemia: What does that mean, “move from milk to meat”?

Keith: Do you know about milk to meat?

Nehemia: I grew up orthodox, so that means something very different for me. What that means is you’re going to go immediately, as opposed to meat to milk, where you have to a few hours.

Keith: Okay, I’m sorry about that. Actually, this is something that Paul talks about. He said, “You know, we’re no longer on spiritual milk, but we need to...”

Nehemia: Oh, okay, that’s what you mean.

Keith: The idea is that we’re going to actually have a smorgasbord of information, inspiration and revelation that people are going to do. Now I want to say one thing before I ask a question. This is not a BFA International production. This is an invitation for joint study in the spirit of which you did with me. This is my way of giving people some of what you gave to me so that we can be in a joint study together. Every week, you’ve got to study back and forth, and every week on Sundays, because I’m taking Sundays back from the Methodists, every Sunday is a new lesson.

Nehemia: But are you allowed to study Scripture on Sunday?

Keith: Absolutely. It’s the first day of the week. Absolutely.

Nehemia: Look, I once had this guy say to me that, “You can’t have church services. You can’t have any kind of congregation services on Sunday, only on Saturday.” And I’m like, “So in the Jewish world, we have services seven days a week.” So why can’t you have services on Sunday?

Keith: Amen. I want to tell my agenda. My agenda is I want to take back Sundays. Every Sunday at noon it’s going to be a new lesson, for 17 weeks. We’ll study together, we’ll talk together, and hopefully you’re going to help us answer some questions.

So, Nehemia, I want to start with the first question. Here it is. Nehemia, this is from our friend Rich, he says, “Is there anything that Yeshua taught or did that is inconsistent with the Tanakh, the big book, as it pertains to the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew? If so, what?” That you know about, is there anything that he taught or did within the context of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.

Nehemia: That’s interesting, I had this conversation with Christian Unitarian pastor Carlos Xavier. It’s a program I did in his channel, I think it’s called Restoration Fellowship. And he argued very vehemently that Jesus taught against the Torah. And I said, “Wait a minute, you’re saying he added things?” “Absolutely he added things.” “You’re saying he took away things?” “Absolutely, there are things that he abolished.” And I said, “Well, you’re making it really easy for me not to believe in Jesus in that case, because Deuteronomy 13 starts out in the Hebrew in 12:32... and I think in English it’s 12:32 and the Hebrew 13:1, and it says, “All I’m commanding today don’t add, don’t take away”. And then it talks about the false prophet who will come, who God gives power to, to perform miracles and show signs, but he leads you away from keeping the Torah. He tells you to worship other gods, but the context there is also adding and taking away from the Torah. So if you believe that Jesus did that, well, then you have a Deuteronomy 13 problem.

So I think if you look at it in the broader context of the Tanakh, as well, then to say that, I think, should be a theological problem for you. Not for me, but for you it should be a theological problem. I don’t mean you particularly, I mean somebody who says, “Oh, yeah, I believe in Torah.”

But to really answer the question... In other words, the question is almost like this - if we wanted to put Jesus on trial today for violating the Torah and teaching against the Torah, because that is the traditional Jewish understanding. What I was taught as a child, is that Yeshu or Yashka he was called, which is like little Josh, Yashka, he taught Israel, he was a mesit umediakh, which means he was an inciter and he caused people to go astray. And how did he do that? He told them not to keep the Torah and to worship idols.

So certainly the worshipping idols part I don’t see that in the New Testament, and as far as teaching things contrary to the Torah… so when I was talking to Carlos, this pastor, who is telling me that Jesus added and took away... And if I misrepresented that, Carlos, please post it in the comments and make sure I get your wording right, or people who watched the video. But my takeaway from what he was saying is, yes, Jesus added, and yes, Jesus took away, I guess because he had the authority to do so. Now I’m putting words in his mouth. For whatever reason, he was able to do that.

So he kept bringing the Sermon on the Mount. And he says, “Well, wait a minute. This is not what the Torah says. The Torah says you’re allowed to pluck somebody’s eye out if they poke your eye out.” So Jesus says, “Don’t do that.” I said, “Well, Carlos, do you do what it says here? Forget the Hebrew - even in the Greek translated into English, like have you never sued somebody? And would you never sue somebody under any circumstances? If somebody murders your loved one, you’re not going to want them taken to court? You’re going to say, ‘Oh, well, I’m going to now walk two miles with the murderer.’” And so he admitted - I think he admitted - I definitely argued, that there is what we call there, a hyperbole. That is a certain amount of exaggeration. That is that this is just the style of speaking and writing in the ancient East, I guess in the modern East as well - and now in the White House. [laughing]

Well, I mean, there’s a certain way of expressing yourself that, but if you fact check it, it is not meant to be taken literally down to the... I’ll give the example I gave, which talks about all the vegetation was destroyed in Egypt in one of the plagues, and in the next plague it starts talking about how certain vegetation is still around. But wait a minute, you just said “all”. Yeah, because it’s what we call “Eastern hyperbole”. So, if you take him hyper literally, yes, there might be things that he taught contrary to the Torah. I mean, it says he spoke in parables, right?

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: Oh! Wait a minute. So that was really interesting. So at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, it says he spoke his one teaching with authority. And the great scholar of the Hebrew background of the New Testament, Professor David Flusser, argued that in the original Hebrew that would have said something like “hu limed kemoshel”, which could mean he taught as a ruler, but it could also mean he taught as one speaking in parables. And we know he spoke in parables, whether you accept Flusser’s interpretation or not. It explicitly tells us he speaks in parables.

So the question, I think, comes down to how literal you take… and particularly the Sermon on the Mount… Right? So the Torah doesn’t say you’ve committed adultery, if you look at a beautiful woman who’s married to somebody else, let’s be specific here. Maybe coveted, right? But it doesn’t say adultery. So is that teaching contrary to the Torah? Or is he using this idea of hyperbole, of exaggeration, to express certain ideas, to maybe emphasize certain ideas? Does that make any sense?

Keith: That makes a lot of sense.

Nehemia: Okay.

Keith: Let me ask you another question...

Nehemia: And look, we have this concept in Hebrew, dan lekaf zekhut, to judge someone... And it’s an interesting expression, it’s hard to... it roughly translates as, “give them the benefit of the doubt”. But the image there is there’s a balance; you’re weighing somebody’s deeds in a balance. And if they’re equal, if the deeds are equal, you can judge the balance for good or judge the balance for evil. And so “dan lekaf zekhut” is to judge the balance for good.

So if you wanted to judge Jesus, or Yeshua, for the kaf – what’s the opposite of zekhut here? – khova, or khayav, then you can find things to argue against him, “He’s arguing against the Torah. He told people that they should pluck their eyes out, it’s forbidden in the Torah to pluck their eyes out!” Okay, sure, but if you want to be dan lekaf zekhut, I think that an argument could be made, that what he taught was consistent with the Torah. Although you could say maybe there’s one thing that would be extremely problematic from a Torah perspective, and that’s this idea that he had the power to forgive sins. I don’t know that the Torah says anywhere that there isn’t a person who has that authority, or will not have that authority, but also it doesn’t say that there is.

Meaning, I don’t believe that the Messiah, in the future, when he judges the world, will have the power to forgive sins. I think Yehovah the Father in heaven has the power to forgive sins. Does He have a representative who can exonerate somebody? Well, for sure, obviously - King Solomon was His representative on earth and called His son. Yehovah said, “He is My son” about King Solomon. And if somebody was guilty or innocent, he could proclaim that, so in that respect, maybe yeah. So that I think also comes down to dan lekaf zekhut. Are you looking to exonerate him, or are you looking to convict him? And if you’re looking to convict him, you can always find something. You can find things about the prophet Elijah that you can convict him on. Can we talk about that?

Keith: Well, let me get to one more question here. [laughing]

Nehemia: Ok.

Keith: This question says, “My question has to do with Matthew 19:3-9 and divorce.”

Nehemia: I can’t let you go on. I want to bring the example. So if you wanted to convict Moses, you could convict Moses. Right?

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: You could say, “God said in the Ten Commandments, ‘Don’t make any graven image,’ and then Moses shows up before the people and says, ‘God told me to make these cherubs. And then God told me to make this pole with a snake on it.’” So if you wanted to convict Moses, you could convict Moses, but I believe Moses is a true prophet, and that God really told him to do that. And God is allowed to tell you to do something under specific circumstances that’s contrary to the general rule.

Keith: Awesome. Permission to ask the next question?

Nehemia: Absolutely.

Keith: Let me just say something right now, folks that are listening. Nehemia, let me stop before I ask the next question. Would there be any way that you’d be willing to do a Part 2 Q&A?

Nehemia: I think we have to, because you spent the first 35 minutes in introduction.

Keith: We’ve got to give the introduction! There’s got to be context, Nehemia! We can’t...

Nehemia: Beseder, okay.

Keith: But would you be willing to do a Part 2 Q&A?

Nehemia: Absolutely, for sure.

Keith: You called it The Hebrew Red Letter Q&A.

Nehemia: Can I read one of the questions from the audience?

Keith: Sure, absolutely.

Nehemia: And I don’t know what they are, right? Okay, who’s “Hebrew Gospel” here? Is that a...

Keith: I have no idea.

Nehemia: It says, “Akharim means ‘I will destroy’, is that right?” Yes, absolutely, akharim is from the word kherem, Khet-Resh-Mem is the root, and “akharim” means “I will utterly destroy”, really. The word kherem appears in the context in the Torah of... it talks about destroying the Canaanites, and it says lehakharim, to completely destroy them.

In modern Hebrew, kherem means something else, that’s a different story. So for example, Exodus 22:20, “Whoever sacrifices to any other God than Yehovah must be destroyed.” And the word there is yakhoram. It’s a form of that. So that was an answer to... I think it’s in Matthew 5:19, the akharim thing.

Keith: Here’s the deal. So here’s what’s exciting. Here’s the good news. Nehemia, you say that you would be willing to facilitate the hot seat. Because we got so many questions where we could literally just start and ask questions. In fact, maybe I should send them to you in advance. Would that help?

Nehemia: I don’t mind you sending them in advance, sure. I mean, I could probably answer some of them, at least, more intelligibly.

Keith: I want to ask you this question, Nehemia, give you a chance to answer…

Nehemia: Can I bring you something from Jewish history? There was a man that...

Keith: I’m never going to be able to ask... we’re going to have 10 of these, we’re going to have 10 Q&As.

Nehemia: May it be! So there was a man in Jewish history, a rabbi named Khoni Hame’agel, Khoni the circle-maker. And the story is that Israel was suffering from a devastating drought. People were dropping like flies, starvation and plague was coming because of droughts. There was no rain, and we don’t have a source of perpetual water like the Nile in Israel, or like the Mississippi, if there’s a drought the crops just don’t grow, or they grow very stunted.

And Khoni drew a circle, famously, and he said, “God, I’m going to stand in the circle praying until rain comes.” I don’t know if it’s a true story or not, but it’s a story that’s told, every Jewish child knows this story. Khoni Hame’agel, the circle maker. We used to call him Khoni Hama’agal, “the circle”, because we didn’t know any better. Khoni the circle maker.

And so, Keith, would you stand with me in the circle? That, until the coronavirus plague leaves the earth, that we will continue… I don’t know every week, but as I’m able to continue...

Keith: Wait, hold on, just a minute...

Nehemia: To stand in the circle and put out teachings for people who are being on lockdown, who can’t leave, who are searching...

Keith: Nehemia, just a second.

Nehemia: Would you stand in the circle with me?

Keith: Nehemia, when I tell you that I am struggling with this COVID-19 quarantine, shelter in grace, I’m struggling at my deepest level. What is keeping me going is that I have been excited to be able to share this Bible study. And so I would do it on one condition.

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: Here’s my condition. That somehow you would be willing to share like you shared with me, for these dear people who are going to be in this process. I’m not asking for this to be the subject every time, but that at some point you’ll give a little time for Q&A for our friends that are going to begin studying this week.

Nehemia: Beseder.

Keith: There will be a chance for them to ask questions, because a lot of people don’t get access to us live. They see videos and they see this, that and the other. But the chance for people to actually interact with us while we’re in lockdown, I think would be really, really huge. So people that have asked questions, we’re going to give you a chance to get those questions answered. It’s just that today is the beginning of a process. We’re going to keep the process going. But the questions are so good, Nehemia, some people have asked questions... I mean, it’s just a minute. Can I just finish this one?

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: And then I want to end in prayer.

Keith: Absolutely. “My question has to do with Matthew 19:3-9.” You happen to have the Hebrew Matthew around you?

Nehemia: Yeah, which one is it?

Keith: Matthew chapter 19:3-9 and divorce. “Does the Hebrew give any indication that Yeshua is saying anything contrary to Torah here? My immediate inclination is that the Pharisees were trying to catch Yeshua at his word, and there’s no indication that they caught him, what he spoke was in line with the Torah. To be clear, I ask because I want to see how Matthew can be reconciled with the Torah regarding divorce and remarriage, because there’s a strong argument in the Christian church that divorce/remarriage is sin. I don’t by any means desire to participate in divorce. I love my wife dearly.” That’s our friend, Scott. And these kinds of questions, Nehemia, people are so dear, the way that they’re asking in respect. Do you have any thoughts regarding the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew as it pertains to Matthew 19, and the issue of divorce?

Nehemia: That’s a great place to continue next time, next week.

Keith: Excellent.

Nehemia: Yeah, it’s a great question. A very good question. A lot of blood has been shed over that question, so I don’t know that I have a magical answer, but we can definitely look at it.

Keith: And I want you to know this. People are so extremely, extremely thankful for the willingness to have this dialogue. So I’m going to stick in there with you. What did you call it? The circle... Tell me again what you called it.

Nehemia: Khoni the Circle Maker. We’re going to stand in the circle in prayer until Yehovah causes us to pass away from the earth, metaphorically speaking.

Keith: [laughing] No, wait, just a minute. Let me get this clear.

Nehemia: It’s not literally a circle in this case.

Keith: What is it you’d like me to be in prayer about?

Nehemia: Oh, to be in prayer that Yehovah will remove this plague from the earth, and until that we will continue to share with people information about the Hebrew sources of their faith.

Keith: Okay. I do want to pray. And I want to thank the people that did come today, and those questions that you asked will be answered, because Nehemia has agreed for another Part 2 and maybe a Part 3, and who knows? Maybe 17 weeks.

Nehemia: We’ll do our best. Or maybe this whole thing will be over in two weeks. I have no idea, right? May it be!

Keith: Okay, so we’re going to be in prayer about that.

Nehemia: Khoni was in prayer for God to bring rain, end the drought, and we’re in prayer for the plague to end. For healing of the world.

Keith: Can I give good news? A few weeks ago, Nehemia, we talked about them saying it was going to be one point some million, and it was going to be 100,000. We said no. Now they brought it down again to another number. We’re going to say “no” to that. We’re going to ask the Father to do a miracle that the world would know He has intervened in grace in this situation, and I’m hoping and believing and praying that that would happen. Amen?

Nehemia: Amen. All right.

Keith: Let’s pray.

Nehemia: Psalm 6. Yehovah, al be’apekha tokhikheni ve’al bekhamatkha teyasereni. Yehovah, do not punish me in anger. Do not chastise me in fury. Khaneni Yehovah ki umlal ani, have mercy on me Yehovah for I languish. Refa’eni Yehovah ki nivhalu atzamay. Heal me, Yehovah, for my bones shake with terror. Venafshi nivhala me’od, ve’ata Yehovah ad matay. My whole being is stricken with terror while You Yehovah, oh, how long? Shuva Yehovah khaletza nafshi. Oh Yehovah, return, rescue me, literally save my soul. Hoshi’eni lema’an khasdekha. Save me for Your grace, for Your faithfulness, because of Your faithfulness. Ki en bamavet zikhrekha. For there is no remembrance of you in death. Bishe’ol mi yodeh lakh? In she’ol, who will confess you? Who will thank You? Yagati be’ankhati, askhe bekhol layla mitati. I am wary with groaning, every night I drench my bed. Bedim’ati arsi amse. I melt my couch in tears. Ashesha mika’as eyni. My eyes are wasted by vexation. Atka bekhol tsoreray. Worn out because of all my foes. Suru mimeni kol po’aley aven, ki shama Yehovah kol bikhyi. Away from me all you evildoers, and I pray, Yehovah, away from us all these deadly viruses. For Yehovah heeds the sounds of my weeping. Shama Yehovah tekhinati, Yehovah tefilati yikakh. Yehovah heeds my prayer. Yehovah accepts my prayer. Yevoshu veyibahalu me’od kol oyevay, yashuvu yevoshu raga. All my enemies will be frustrated and stricken with terror. They will turn back in an instant, frustrated. Yehovah, turn back and make frustrated this virus, destroy it, melt it. Yehovah, You have the power to bring healing to the world. Amen.

Keith: Amen. And I want to pray a prayer, Nehemia, that we studied together. Avinu shebashamayim, our Father in heaven, yitkadesh shimkha, may Your name be sanctified. Veyitbarekh malkhutkha. May Your kingdom be blessed. Retzonkha yihiyeh ratzui bashamayim uva’aretz. Your will shall be done in heaven and on earth. Vetiten lakhmenu temidit. Give us our bread continually and daily, umekhol lanu khatotenu ka’asher anakhnu mokhalim lakhot’im lanu. Forgive us the debt of our sins as we forgive the debt of those who sin against us. Ve’al tavi’enu liydey nisayon. Do not bring us into the hands of a test. Veshomrenu mikol ra. And protect us from all evil. Amen.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: Can I blow the shofar?

Nehemia: Please.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Amen. Shabbat Shalom.

You have been listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

We hope the above transcript has proven to be a helpful resource in your study. While much effort has been taken to provide you with this transcript, it should be noted that the text has not been reviewed by the speakers and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to support our efforts to transcribe the teachings on NehemiasWall.com, please visit our support page. All donations are tax-deductible (501c3) and help us empower people around the world with the Hebrew sources of their faith!

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Related Posts:
The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
Back to Work!
The Name of God in the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
My Search for Hebrew New Testament Manuscripts
Hebrew Voices Episodes
Support Team Studies
Nehemia Gordon's Teachings on the Name of God

Verses Mentioned:
2 Samuel 5:8
1 Corinthians 3:2
Dt 12:32 [Dt 13:1]
Dt 13:1-5
Exodus 10:15
Exodus 22:20[19
Matthew 5:19
Matthew 19:3-9
Psalm 6

25 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #120 – Hebrew Matthew Q&A

  1. I was looking for the second part to “Hebrew Gospel Pearl’s Plus”? How can I get that second part? Can someone help, thank you.

  2. Thought I’d toss out an idea. What about creating a page where the written answers to the submitted questions asked, are answered for all to read? Utilizing voice recognition software technology, both Nehemia’s and Keith’s replies could be easily written without great effort, then categorized by subject when uploaded. That way listeners don’t have to wait and hope their questions get asked/answered, or if they miss a podcast in which their question was answered, they could read you answers. Maybe such page exists that I don’t know about?

    I was rather disappointed that subject of divorce kept getting changed and thoughts on divorce ended up not being discussed. I was extremely interested about divorce as mine is presently pending. Sadly I have no idea when the next podcast of Q &A will be released.

  3. When Nehemia talked about Sermon on Mount, and looking at a beautiful married woman with lustful, adulterous thoughts, my mind thought of:

    Isa_42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. (KJ)

    Is that not what Yeshua did when he put adultery, hatred, etc.. under a microscope? He magnified the law!

  4. Nehemia I’m so glad you and Keith are doing this. Back in 1997 I started getting your New Moon reports by email. At some point a few emails started to come concerning the Hebrew Matthew texts. I was intrigued but skeptical because I didn’t know the story behind them. Once I learned more I hoped that someday you would do the work you are about to embark on. So I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Being retired on a very small Social Security income has limited my ability to financially support you over the years but I have contributed to the New Moon and Abib searches in the past. I’m so sad you aren’t doing that anymore. That has been the single most important contribution that your ministry has made to my walk with YHVH. It changed my entire life. Thank you for your work in that area. This is going to be similar I believe. So my husband and I are making a very modest monthly commitment to this work. That way we can contribute to both you and Keith at the same time

  5. I DONT SPEAK INGLES, I NEED AUDIO IN SPANISH. I KNOW IS WONDERFUL REVELATION OF JEHOVAH TO NEHEMIA Y JOHNSON. PLEASE AUDIOS IN SPANISH SHALOM

  6. I would love for you to continue on Hebrew Matthew Count me in as one of the 5000 I will gladly support one of your podcasts myself. If any of Hebrew Matthew has the words “the children” in it in Hebrew I would love for you to go into what those words mean. If Yah speaks them directly to us.

  7. Hey, guys and Debbie, saw ur april 24 u tube . Wish yall had started this sooner. But hey. Fathers timing right. Thank you again for ur call. It blessed me so much. And I’m sure this endeavour on Mathew will be challenging and rewarding. I pray all goes as it should. Thank u again for all u do for us. And as soon as I get my disability check I’ll send what I can. Cause I beleave in u guys and gals. Lol. Shabbat shalom.

  8. I’m Mathew 22:12. What does it mean the man was Speechless? And is their some significance to the wedding garment?

  9. I was wondering if anyone asked a question about the fig tree and why He would curse it to wither it. Any Hebrew meaning of this?

  10. Nehemia, I am sorry you have had such experiences with Christians. No doubt most of them were wrong in their approach.

    I hope you understand why they would do that though. It is not because it’s fun for them or they have a malicious agenda. Quite the opposite. It is because we believe the New Testament which says that people who do not believe in Yeshua/Jesus are in danger of hell. None of us want anyone to go to hell.

    Most of us are afraid to share what we believe because we fear persecution or ridicule or losing a friendship. As you know not only Jews but also Christians have been and are heavily persecuted throughout the world. So sharing our beliefs is not comfortable or easy but we do it because we are concerned for our friends and we love them more than we are afraid for ourselves.

    I was watching a Ray Comfort video and he quotes Penn Gillete, an atheist, as saying something to the effect of “if I believed that a truck was about to hit you and I warned you but you didn’t believe it or get out of the way, at some point I would tackle you, and all embarrassment or social awkwardness would not matter. I think if Christians believe people are going to hell but don’t tell them how to avoid this, because it might be socially awkward, they must really hate people.”

    I understand that you see it differently. I hope you are not offended by my comment. I apologize for the Christians you have known who have not acted in a loving way as they should have. Just please understand what we believe and why we do what we do, based on the New Testament written by Jewish Messianics and spoke by the man we believe to be the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.

    Thank you for all your research on the Name of the Father. It has greatly enriched my life and my prayers. Yehováh bless you.

    • The question is how to draw someone near to God.

      Ray Comfort’s uses fear (derived from guilt not love) by condemning people to hell if they do not believe as he does..

      The Israelites were instructed to obey the voice of Yehovah and keep His commandments in the sight of the peoples who would then say “surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

      “For what great nation is there that has a God so near to it as is Yehovah our God whenever we call on Him?

      “Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole Torah which I am setting before you today?

      May obedience prevail over fear.

  11. How are we gonna get the ones “called by my name” II Chronicles 7:14, presumably Christians and Jews not doing TORAH, to ask what sins?
    They would have to go to the NT as to what is sin?
    In John, Sin is the transgression of (ALL) the law.
    Christians only see the 10 and not the rest!

  12. Forgive me please get to the questions anll this muckydy muck is boring hungrry one!
    As to question 1, we forget that one is being taught and looking at an old very old translation even in modern English and they are copies of copies of copies of copies but presented as if fully inspired-which is deceptive but YEHOVAH knows that and will take it into account (grace and mercy)at our final hearing!
    Marcion and Constantine hated all Jewishness and have done a great job of covering op the Jewish Jesus!
    We have been given a cheap, non accountability-10 Commandments only, Jesus!
    Jesus and Paul in original language vigorously fought against the oral law but translators do not qualify which one in the English it is!

  13. “Earned” or not,(jew or gentile) if you think you have truth and in that truth, you believe there is no other truth (or way) to eternal life, then why would anyone question the motive of the person who overtly or covertly tries to lead others to the same truth? If you truly believe what you think you believe and you truly love others, then no matter who you are, you will do anything you can to lead others to the same conclusions for life.

    Isn’t this “the light to the nations” that Yehovah is talking about?

    • ==why would anyone question the motive of the person who overtly or covertly tries to lead others to the same truth?==

      Covertly is a problem as I see it. That would be purposeful manipulation – which God does not do. What I see in the story of Yeshua is that He never tricked, coerced or forced anyone to accept Him. He let the rich young ruler walk away.

      Actually, I think the same thing could be said for “overtly” – as being a way of “pushing” your beliefs.

      I see Yeshua in the Gospels ministering to those who willingly came to hear Him. He didn’t go out and chase anyone down and try to convince them of anything. He spoke to the people who came to hear Him.

      That is how I see it, anyway.

  14. James,

    Lifting up prayers for you. And also in my prayer group.

    I’m glad to know you are a man of faith. And praying you be filled with His peace.

    Shalom.

  15. I have only months to live. You and Kieth have been such a blessing to me that I can not thank u enough. Truly thank you so much. I hope to live long enough to see the finished work on the hebrew Mathew.

    • James,

      I will pray for you and have our prayer group pray for you.

      I’m so glad you are facing this with faith and praying that you have peace.

      • Thank you for ur kind words. And thank you for ur prayers. I have made peace with it and looking forward to seeing our father. Please keep doing the thing you do. You and Kieth have blessed so many of us with ur knowledge and faith. You keep me company when I feel alone..Thank you so much.

    • I pray you are comfortable and if you are in need of anything. It would be an honor for me to provide what I can. Just let me know how to contact you.
      Mike

      • Thank you Mike for ur kind words. My needs are met. And hospice is set up when I need it, if I need it. Our Father has seen to take care of my end of life needs. I am now just trying to figure out what or how to deal with the shell of my body that my spirit now lives in. Just trying to tie up loose ends. I dont have a burial plan. And unfortunately I didnt plan for this. But Our father will see to it I have know dought. Thank u so much for ur kindness.

        • James, I made a donation to Nehemia to help support this project. It was great to hear you on this weeks program. May Yehovah be with you.

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